Interesting article from espn.com's Jeff Pearlman on the NY Jets history of drafting stiffs. Pearlman wrote one of my favorite book's of all time, The Bad Guys Won, so I will show him some deference. Much of the article is on point, but he unfairly maligns Freeman McNeil, Al Toon, and Keyshawn Johnson by lumping them in with the likes of Johnny "Lam" Jones, Roger Vick, Dave Cadigan, and Kyle Brady.
Freeman McNeil had a very nice career and even lead the NFL in rushing one season (albeit a strike shorted season). He is second only to future Hall of Famer Curtis Martin on the Jets all-time rushing list. As for Ronnie Lott, I don't think the Jets had the pressing need at safety that they had at running back. Scott Dierking, yes THE Scott Dierking, led the Jets in rushing the previous year. As the old proverb states, "when Scott Dierking is your starting running back, it's time to get a new running back."
Al Toon was one of the top receivers in the league before Ken O'Brien's concussion balls over the middle took their toll on his now mushy head. If the 49'ers had drafted Toon and the Jets Rice, Toon would be dancing with the stars and sporting a embarrassing haircut and Rice would be sitting at home unable to complete full sentences.
Keyshawn Johnson was the #1 pick in a relatively weak draft without a clear cut #1. The only top ten pick who has clearly had a better career than Johnson is Jonathan Ogden, but who wants to take an OT #1? He amassed two hall of fame caliber years with the Jets and wrote a literary classic that enabled me to call Wayne Chrebet "The Mascot" for Wayne's duration with the team. Plus the Jets gained a huge windfall from trading him to the Bucs. The extra first round picks they gained allowed the Jets to rebuild on the fly with the likes of Shawn Ellis, John Abraham, and Chad Pennington.
It seems as if Pearlman had a theory and wanted to fit every Jets draft pick of the 80's and 90's into it. I will simply not let him tarnish the legacy of some of my all-time favorite Jets.
Oh and here is obligatory montage of bad Jets draft picks.